HP likes to hedge its bets. In addition to a couple of big-screen flat-panel TVs with built-in Media Center Extenders, the company is now offering a set-top box as well. Like the MediaSmart TVs, the MediaSmart Receiver x280N has the ability to stream a wide variety of video (including MPEG-2, DivX, WMV, WMV-HD, and H.264/MP4 files), audio (MP3, WMA, WMA-Pro, WAV, AAC/m4a), and images (JPEG, BMP, GIF, and PNG photos) from networked PCs to your living room TV via its wired Ethernet or wireless 802.11a/b/g/n connections. Local media playback is also available via … Read more
HP has updated its MediaSmart TVs for the new year. On the surface, the new SL4282N (42-inch) and SL4782N (47-inch) are very similar to their 2007 counterparts: full 1080p resolution LCD flat-panels with 3 HDMI inputs, built-in high-def and analog tuners, and--the big differentiator--the ability to stream digital video, audio, and images via their built-in 802.11a/b/g/n wireless networking connections. But the big upgrade for 2008 is the inclusion of Media Center Extender functionality, which offers easy connectivity to PCs running most flavors of Vista. Prefer a non-HP TV, but want those same media features? HP's … Read more
Linksys is tossing its hat into the 2007 Media Center Extender ring with not one but two models. The DMA2100 is a small form factor MCE, while the larger DMA2200 offers a built-in upconverting DVD player. Both models attach to a standard or high-def TV to stream a variety of digital media--live and recorded TV, video files, music, and photos--from networked Media Center PCs located elsewhere in the home. Like the rival D-Link DSM-750, the Linksys models offer dual-band 802.11n wireless connectivity (for optimal streaming of HD video) and HDMI outputs. Interestingly, the DMA2200 has the same overall look … Read more
Networking companies are beginning to deliver the new Vista-friendly Media Center Extenders that Microsoft outlined earlier this month. D-Link's entry in the race is the DSM-750. Like competing models, the DSM-750 attaches to a TV (standard or high-def) and streams live and recorded TV, video, music, and photos from networked Media Center PCs located elsewhere in the home. An update of the older DSM-520, the 2007 model adds dual-band 802.11n wireless (which has the speed and bandwidth for optimal streaming of HD video) as well as compatibility with the popular DivX and XviD video file formats. Unlike similarly … Read more
As Microsoft announced its new Extender solution today, many have been asking if it will be the new be-all, end-all for the home viewing experience. Some have called this an amazing development that deserves attention, while others are saying it's not all that great. I tend to agree with the second group.
For those of you who are unaware of this new product from Microsoft, Extender will be able to take any media (video, TV, music, print) from a PC to a television or from a television to another television in another room. In other words, you can have the same show playing in your bedroom and living room without missing a beat. Ideally, this would work with the help of a Media Center PC and a device being created by Linksys, D-Link and others.
This may sound great on paper, and the ability to move media around in my house like this would be nice, but is it really necessary? More often than not, I have the equipment I need to do this already. Sure, it may not be as easy as Microsoft's product, but if the current infrastructure is there, why get rid of it for something new? Simply put, this technology is a few years too late.… Read more
Microsoft plans another go at the media center extender concept, but it's unclear whether the new features will be enough to lure more buyers than it did with the first go-around a few years back.
As in the past, the devices are designed to connect to a TV in one room to access music, photos and video from a computer in another room. It's the same idea as the Apple TV, which even Steve Jobs says is more a "hobby" for Apple than a real business.
A real question exists as to how many buyers are … Read more
One of the little-mentioned aspects of the iPhone is its recessed headphone plug, liable to render some earphones incompatible. If you've invested in a sweet pair of high-end headphones or earphones for your iPod, and you're feeling a little iffy about the iPhone sending you back to the stock Apple "mug me" earbuds, then Shure's new Music Phone Adapter might be just the thing. It's a cable adapter with a built-in microphone and a control button, allowing your existing set of earphones to be adapted for the iPhone. The product, to retail for $39.… Read more
Need that next on-the-go gaming session to go all night? The new Extended PSP Battery from Blue Raven Technology may be your dream product. The snap-on, lithium-polymer, 4,500mAh battery pack aims to deliver as much as 15 hours of PSP playtime--a big step up from the 3 to 5 hours offered by the PSP's default battery. But the increased playtime comes at a cost: The Extended PSP Battery is about the same size and weight as the PSP itself (5 ounces for the battery vs. 6.2 for the PSP), and it costs a whopping $90. On the … Read more
As fond as we are of Philips designs, we're a bit curious about the origins of its new "Longneck" laptop. The photos we've seen look awfully similar to images of the "FlyBook VM" from Japan's Dialogue that were widely circulated last December.
But no matter. Philips has done what Dialogue didn't, which is offer the computer at a bearable price. With what seem to be comparable specs--an extendable 12.1-inch widescreen LCD, Intel Core Duo chip, 1GB of memory and a 100GB hard drive--for just under $1,700, according to Tech Digest. … Read more